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Najmul finally proves his might

  • Samsul Arefin Khan from Brisbane
  • 31 October, 2022 12:00 AM
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Najmul finally proves his might

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When the Bangladesh Cricket Board picked top-order batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto in their squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, there was a massive uproar regarding his selection in the team.

The 24-year-old played only nine T20Is at that time where his highest score was 40 runs and although he was picked as an opener for the T20 World Cup, he had the experience of opening the innings only once and that too in 2019.

Najmul played three T20Is as an opener in New Zealand during a tri-series in the build-up to the World Cup where he showcased some kind of his potential by making 33, 11and 12 runs respectively.

In the first two World Cup matches, the left-hander got initial starts (scored 25 and nine runs) respectively against Netherlands and South Africa but failed to convert into big ones. However, on Sunday, Najmul finally lived up to the expectations and struck a blistering 71 off 55 balls with seven fours and one six that helped Bangladesh post 150-7 against Zimbabwe.

Later, Bangladesh were successful in defending the total as they won the game by three runs to complete their second win in the tournament.

Najmul played most part of his innings with a hamstring injury but he was rock solid at the crease until his getting out in the 17th over and his splendid knock gave Bangladesh hope of booking a place in the semifinal of the ongoing tournament.

“Of course, the innings is special for me considering it is my first T20I half-century….This is also my best innings,” Najmul told reporters at the post-match press conference in Brisbane.

“For the last couple of matches, I was having the starts but could not transform them into big scores. Today I was committed that if I get set, I will try to make it as big as possible, and I am happy that I could do that,” he added.

Najmul claimed that he was not under any kind of pressure as the team management, skipper and seniors supported him well.

“I wasn’t under pressure since everyone from the team management to the captain and all the senior players had supported me,” said Najmul, adding that the win against Zimbabwe will give them the confidence to perform well in their next two matches against India and Pakistan respectively.

“Of course, confidence rises when we win matches. The condition of the team is very good. After today’s win, we can take this confidence in the next match as well,” he added.